In the spirit of my photographer friend from Manitou Beach, Al Bowman, I submit this watercolour/pastel of the sun going down over the hills of Manitou Beach, SK. Al is a spirited photographer who insists that he just likes "snapping pictures" but I feel he is much more talented than he gives himself credit for. Check out his work on Facebook. I call this painting "Join the Union" simply because I was listening to a song by that name performed by Strawbs. Go figure.
This small pastel was painted from memory and depicts one of the many roadside pullouts we stopped at on our way down the northern coast of California. I was struck by the solitary tree standing against the incessant winds off of the Pacific Ocean.
This is another pastel piece that I managed to do in the time allotted me by my tour guide operator Michael Baschak, of the bay off of the village of Mendocino California. I am glad that I took my pastels on this trip as they allowed me to do fairly quick studies of the places I visited and offered a quite good selection of colours for that locale.
One of the places I really wanted to go to when in California was Mendocino. I had heard a lot about it over the years, how it was a haven for the sixties generation and artists of every make and colour. Going there wasn't a disappointment and it lived up to all my expectations. Mendocino is actually quite a small little village, probably not much larger than Manitou Beach. The architecture is quaint and funky and there are strict guidelines in place to ensure it remains that way. Crystal and Michael let me loose with my pastels for a little over an hour so I made good use of my time by heading down to the edge of the village, close to the ocean, and set myself up close to some other plein air painters who were up from Berkley, CA for the day. I felt right at home. This pastel is one of the two pieces I managed to complete in my time allotment. Nothing like a deadline to get me moving!
Crystal, Michael and I are back from our trip down to California and what a trip it was. We followed the coast all the way down and I know Crystal had her eyes tightly shut more than once as Michael maneuvered his way around some tight slow corners on the edge of the Pacific Ocean! I could feel my abs working on both sides of my body as we made our way down the coast. We made many stops along the way to explore the coastline and the redwood forests, it is all quite overwhelming and there is to much to say in just one post. The pastel above was done en plein air at a place called Agate Beach, where we camped for three days. There usually was fog in the air which added a serene quality to the place. I didn't sleep much while I was there because the sound of the huge waves, which reminded me of freight trains, was constant and very loud. They sounded like they were actually moving large rocks at times. I brought a couple of pounds of pebbles back from the beach for my rock garden!
We are being blessed with an amazing Autumn in our part of the world. The other day I took some time and sat under a tree in our Wellington Park with the idea of doing a pastel drawing of the splendor before me. It was such a great experience to sit there with my two dogs and enjoy the warm breezes and solitude of the place. I hope I can get out again while the leaves are still on the trees!